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Career and Education Opportunities for Decorative Painters in Fort Smith, Arkansas

Decorative painters can find many career and educational opportunities in the Fort Smith, Arkansas area. There are currently 310 jobs for decorative painters in Arkansas and this is projected to grow 25% to about 380 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for decorative painters are expected to grow by about 10.2%. In general, decorative painters paint, coat, or decorate articles, such as furniture, glass, or leather.

Decorative painters earn about $10 per hour or $21,010 yearly on average in Arkansas and about $11 hourly or $24,070 yearly on average nationally. Incomes for decorative painters are not quite as good as in the overall category of Painting and Coating in Arkansas, and not quite as good as the overall Painting and Coating category nationally.

The Fort Smith area is home to nine schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Fort Smith where you can get a degree as a decorative painter. Decorative painters usually hold less than a high school diploma, so it will take only a short time to learn to be a decorative painter if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Decorative Painter

In general, decorative painters paint, coat, or decorate articles, such as furniture, glass, or leather.

Decorative painters clean and maintain tools and equipment, using solvents, brushes, and rags. Finally, decorative painters apply coatings, such as paint or lacquer, to safeguard or decorate workpiece surfaces, using spray guns or brushes.

Every day, decorative painters are expected to be able to control objects and devices with precise control. They need to distinguish between colors. It is also important that they see details at a very fine level of focus.

It is important for decorative painters to read job orders and inspect workpieces to establish work procedures and materials required. They are often called upon to examine finished surfaces of workpieces to confirm conformance to given requirements; then retouch any faulty areas. They also clean surfaces of workpieces in preparation for coating, using cleaning fluids or cloth. They are sometimes expected to rinse or wipe coated workpieces to remove excess coating material or to enable setting of finish coats on workpieces. Somewhat less frequently, decorative painters are also expected to decide on and mix ingredients to ready coating substances according to given requirements, using paddles or mechanical mixers.

Decorative painters sometimes are asked to position and glue decorative pieces in cutout sections of workpieces, following patterns. They also have to be able to apply coatings, such as paint or lacquer, to safeguard or decorate workpiece surfaces, using spray guns or brushes and melt or heat coating materials to specified temperatures. And finally, they sometimes have to clean and maintain tools and equipment, using solvents, brushes, and rags.

Like many other jobs, decorative painters must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Decorative Painter Training

University of Arkansas-Fort Smith - Fort Smith, AR

University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, 5210 Grand Ave, Fort Smith, AR 72913-3649. University of Arkansas-Fort Smith is a medium sized university located in Fort Smith, Arkansas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,846 students and an admission rate of 62%. University of Arkansas-Fort Smith has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated nineteen and four students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Decorator: A decorator at this level and for this designation prepares and finishes sweet baked goods for a commercial bakery.

For more information, see the Retail Bakers of America website.

Certified Decorative Artist: The Certified Decorative Artist applicant must pay the required fees and submit one piece of work for judging.

For more information, see the Society of Decorative Painters website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Fort Smith, Arkansas

Fort Smith, Arkansas
Fort Smith, Arkansas photo by Infrogmation

Fort Smith is located in Sebastian County, Arkansas. It has a population of over 84,716, which has grown by 5.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Fort Smith, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Fort Smith are priced at $151,400 on average, which is above the state average. In 2008, two hundred one new homes were constructed in Fort Smith, down from two hundred ninety-four the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Fort Smith are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is food, construction, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 17 minutes. More than 18.6% of Fort Smith residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.7%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Fort Smith is 8.1%, which is greater than Arkansas's average of 6.9%.

The percentage of Fort Smith residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 68.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Mallalieu United Methodist Church, Loves Chapel Seventh Day Adventist Church and King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church are among the churches located in Fort Smith. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Fort Smith is home to the Fort Smith Trolly Museum and the Fort Smith Inter-Faith Community Center as well as Riverfront Park and Kay Rodgers Park. Shopping centers in the area include Laville Shopping Center, Maybranch Shopping Center and Midland Mall Shopping Center. Visitors to Fort Smith can choose from Patel P L, Westark Inn Motel and Stonewall Jackson Inn for temporary stays in the area.